Facial milia often clear up on their own after a few months, but if discomfort occurs, patients can take medications such as topical retinoids or undergo chemical peels or laser ablation, explains Healthline. Physicians may also use a sterile needle to extract the contents of the milium cysts.
Additional treatment options for facial milia include applying extreme heat to destroy the cysts through a medical procedure known as diathermy, according to Healthline. Curettage is the process of surgically scraping away facial cysts. Some patients opt for cryotherapy, which involves freezing the cysts to destroy them.
Facial milia are small white cysts that are commonly found on the cheeks and nose, explains Healthline. These cysts develop when keratin, a strong protein that also occurs in hair or nails, is trapped beneath the surface of the skin. The condition is most common in newborns but can affect individuals of any age. People often mistakenly refer to the condition as baby acne.
Medical scientists do not yet know why some newborns get milium cysts, but in adults and older children, the condition can often result from skin damage due to conditions that produce blistering or long-term sun damage, according to Healthline. Individuals who have used steroid creams for long periods or are suffering from blistering injuries may also develop milia.